10 Top Things in Tech This Week 2

In order to provide you your weekly dose of tech updates, we at IndianWeb2 bring to you the top 10 things that happened in the tech world this week.

1) Elon Musk Unveils Roboschool for Everyone To Build Smarter Robots

Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk has been trying to redefine transportation on earth as well as in space since a long time. And in 2015, Musk founded OpenAI, a nonprofit dedicated towards furthering A.I. research.


Earlier this week, Musk’s Open AI took to Twitter to announce the launch of Roboschool, an update to the last year launched OpenAI Gym that could help developers in preparing better robots for the real world.
According to experts, the launch of Roboschool will make the simulated environments much more realistic and applicable to actual robots. The Roboschool comes along with an upgrade to Musk’s AI organisation’s physics engine, which makes it much easier for more variables and constraints to be introduced. For instance, the tracks that simulated robots had to walk along, are now available in three dimensions, and the robots have to rise up to task of balancing in spite of more forces, such as the torque being generated by robot’s own legs.

2) With A $1 Bn Investment from Sharp, SoftBank’s Tech Fund is Now World’s Biggest with $93 billion To Invest

After raising a whopping $1 billion from Japan-based electronics company Sharp Corp earlier this week, Japan’s telecom and internet giant SoftBank’s Vision Tech Fund officially became the world’s biggest private equity fund on Saturday as the company announced that it has successfully closed $93 billion.

The remaining $7 billion of the ambitious $100 billion Vision fund that aims to tap advanced technologies through investments is expected to be raised by another six months.

SoftBank announced its ‘Vision’ Tech Fund in October last year. The billions raised will be invested in the tech industry, across sectors ranging from cloud technology to artificial intelligence and robotics.

3) MIT Researchers Develop A Drone System That Can Do A Camera Operator’s Job

Shooting professional quality videos with a drone is a tedious task, one that requires the help of a number of human operators. But, not anymore. According to a team of researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), they’ve successfully developed a way through which the whole process can be done sans humans.

The researchers have developed a system called as the “real-time motion planning for aerial videography,” which lets a director define basic parameters of a shot, like the position of the subject within that frame or how tight or how wide the frame should be. The system will also allow the user to change those settings on the fly and the drone will adjust how it’s filming the video accordingly. In addition to all this, the system will make the drones capable of dynamically avoiding obstacles.

4) Oculus Research’s Focal Surface Display Could Make VR Much More Comfortable For Our Eyeballs

The current generation of VR is phenomenal in its own right, but one cannot overlook the fact that the technology is still far from being perfect. The fixed focus distance can be considered as one of the major drawbacks of VR of today. This is because despite creating an illusion of depth from the stereo images that one is looking at, each image is essentially flat. This means each of them is at a fixed perceived distance from your face, and with a focus selected by the game engine instead of the user’s eyeballs, which is not good for human eyes.

According to Oculus, they have found a solution to this problem and developed a “focal surface display.” The technology brings together a spatial light modulator (SLM) in between the screen and the headset’s eyepiece lenses, and the SLM actively bends light to give a scene a 3D. This technique when combined with eye tracking, allows a used to look around a scene in VR and focus naturally on different areas at different perceived distances.

5) Panasonic Sets Up Its First India Innovation Centre in Bengaluru; To Boost IoT, AI based Technologies

Japanese multinational electronics giant have now announced its first India Innovation Centre (IIC) in Bengaluru. The centre will be first such in India and the third globally.

Panasonic India has tied up with Indian IT firm Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) for the innovation centre, which will focus on developing technologies in the field of Internet of Things (IoT), mobility and artificial intelligence.

Panasonic will invest Rs240 crore over the next five years in the centre and aims to employ around 60 people within a year, including existing employees from both TCS and Panasonic India.

6) You Can Order Food Straight From Facebook Now

Social Networking giant Facebook will soon allows its users to order food straight from its app, with no need to open up a separate restaurant page or jump away from the endless scrolling one is doing through their news feed.

According to a recent report in TechCrunch, the Order Food option would appear right on the app or web menu and gives a Facebook user a direct shortcut to getting fed. The feature is currently being tested with a select number of users in the US.

7) 5 Big Announcements Google Made In Its Annual Developer Conference

Tech giant Google showed off some of the best practical applications of AI and machine learning at its recently concluded annual developer conference in Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California. The 5 big announcements made by the tech giant at the conference included the development news about its Daydream virtual reality (VR) platform, Google Lens, Google Home, new Photo Tools and its introduction of the Visual Positioning System. Read Here to know more.

8) With 180% growth, Chinese Smartphone Vendors Set To Wipe Out Indian Brands

According to a recent report by research firm CyberMedia Research, Chinese vendors have managed to capture about 49 per cent of the Indian mobile phone handset market in the first quarter of 2017, registering a whopping 180 per cent (year-on-year) revenue growth. The report named, “India Quarterly Mobile Handset Market Review,” notes that the figures highlight the fact that the Chinese vendors could soon wipe out domestic Indian players from the overall handset segment.

While Chinese vendors continue their growth trajectory, the revenue of mobile handsets market in India was recorded at 346,295 million in the first quarter (January-March), which is down eight per cent sequentially quarter-on-quarter.

9) Team At IIT-Delhi Develops A Rs 10 Pollution Fighting Device

A team of researchers from one of India’s most prestigious institute’s, IIT Delhi, has successfully developed a cheap solution for one of the gravest problems that mankind is facing today, Pollution. The team of geniuses has created a respiratory filter, which is capable of protecting its users against most of the fine dust and air pollutants for a period of at least eight-hours. The best part, it costs just Rs. 10.

The product has been developed by assembling millions of small sized pores to create a thin flexible membrane, which is capable of capturing very small particles with high efficiency. According to its creators, the product has been proven to restrict entry of any foreign particulate matter including bacteria and pollen allergens, besides 2.5-micron sized particulate matter.

10) Google for Jobs Aims To Make Job Searching Less Of A Hassle

World’s biggest biggest search engine, Google has decides to make the task of looking for jobs much easier and less cumbersome by announcing Google for Jobs. According to the search giant, with Google for Jobs, its main aim is to leverage its advanced machine learning capabilities of sorting through millions of job listings to better match opportunities with candidates.

As of now, Google will not be hosting its own job listings, but collecting them from third parties like Facebook, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and ZipRecruiter. The product is expected to be rolled out in the US in the next few weeks and in other countries thereafter.

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